Today is the International Yoga Day. For grownups, yoga helps in relaxing the mind and the body through movement. It also helps in relieving the body of stress and anxiety. Regular yoga practices can help maintain a healthy mental and physical life. Yoga is also credited to improve focus, concentration, and creativity. Some people say that yoga can even improve the quality of sleep.
This day is celebrated every year on 21 June, which coincides with the summer solstice in Northern Hemisphere and winter solstice in Southern Hemisphere. The International Day of Yoga is being observed today on 22 June 2022 all over the world to have a collective celebration for practicing yoga in our daily lives. Many health experts believe that starting your day with some yoga sessions can give you a long time for peace and happiness throughout the day.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an exercise that helps in relaxing the mind and the body and improves health. Yoga is considered to be the union of mind, body and soul. Yoga helps in calming and focusing the mind. According to different styles of yoga, it can be said that yoga is a science of energies, which guides us to control our mind from being restless to a peaceful state called Samadhi. The different styles of yoga are:
• A few popular asanas for beginners include Up Dog Pose, Downward Dog, Child’s Pose, Chair Pose and Cobra Pose.
• As you continue practicing these asanas, you will find many more useful poses to do yoga including Tree Pose, Half Moon Pose or Triangle pose etc.
• The ultimate yoga pose is the Lotus pose, which requires a lot of flexibility.
Different Yoga Styles
There are various styles of yoga, the most popular ones being:
1) Hatha Yoga: It is a form of physical exercise that helps improve strength and flexibility. This style of yoga is slow-paced and gentle. It’s mainly used as a therapeutic exercise to relax the mind and body. It involves meditative breathing techniques and relaxation techniques along with asanas to improve mental strength, calmness and patience. Common Poses include: Tree Pose, Downward Dog, Cobra Pose etc.
2) Ashtanga Yoga: This is a vinyasa style of yoga that incorporates asanas with faster paced movements and pranayama. It is also referred to as power yoga or calisthenics. It involves breathing techniques and quick movements that bring about deep stretching and development of flexibility. Common poses include the Sun Salutation, Bound Angle, Mountain Pose etc.
3) Iyengar Yoga: This form of yoga involves more complex postures in the form of static holds involving breath-control and twisting in different directions throughout an exercise session for a few minutes at a time. This style is famous for its use of props for support or assistance in performing poses.
4) Kripalu Yoga: This yoga form involves a slow-paced routine of breathing, concentration, and movements focused on the body and its different parts. Various asanas are also used to focus on a specific part of the body to improve overall health.
5) Kundalini Yoga: In this type of yoga, one uses breathing techniques along with different postures to activate a latent internal energy called kundalini.
6) Bikram (Hot) Yoga: It’s named so because it’s performed in a room heated up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius.
Can children also be benefitted from Yoga?
Yoga experts say, just like us, children can also be benefitted from yoga. As children often do not know how to express emotions and they keep the negative emotions inside, some lash out with harsh words and are violent. Quoting to Sabrina Merchant, Founder of Li’l Yogis as saying, the Hindustan Times writes, “Parents or dear ones often try to provide this comfort, but children also need to be conscious of their own feelings and emotions and be prepared to cope with them. Taking a moment to connect to the breath and body with some soothing breaths can really help them release stress and anxiety. Focusing on the things that have gone well and teaching them to look at things in a positive light will fill them with positivity“.
According to Sabrina Merchant. movement can help children cope up with difficult emotions and have a positive outlook towards life. “Poses like the downward dog and bridge pose help us to relax, become more flexible and feel active. They also improve our energy levels, motivate us and enhance our creativity. The flower breath helps relax the facial muscles, let go of negative emotions and loosen up. Set a positive example for your child as kids learns a lot from their parents and elders. How we handle our negative feelings or behave when things don’t work out is closely observed by our kids”.
Merchant, the fitness expert, further noted down a few yoga asanas that can help instill positive perspectives in children. They are as follows:
1) Setu Bandhasana: Also known as the Bridge Pose, Setu Bandhasana helps in stretching the spine and strengthening the muscles of the abdomen and the legs. It also helps in energizing the body and releasing stress.
2) Adho Mukha Svanasana: The Down Dog Pose helps in strengthening the body body including upper body, arms, shoulders, abdomen and legs. It also helps in stretching the back, ankles, calves, hamstrings and spine and boosting blood circulation.
3) Anjaneyasana: This yoga asana helps in strengthening the back, legs as well as shoulders – mainly the quadriceps and gluteus muscles.
4) Lion’s Breath: This yoga asana helps the child to release excess energy and connect with the inner strength and courage.
5) Flower Breath: This helps children to connect with nature and makes them aware of their breath and release stress.
Importance of Yoga in 2022
Yoga consists of scientifically proven ways of practices which can help maintain physical, mental and spiritual balance. Yoga has the power to help one achieve healthy living in a scientific way. It helps people to stay fit, reduce stress and stay super healthy. The world yoga day 2022 is all about celebrating the importance of Yoga, its impact on human life as well as how it has spread globally all these years.
Yoga is not just physical exercise or a routine of poses. Yoga is all about connecting with your inner self and connecting with the universal energy that keeps us alive. Yoga offers a form of meditation and a mind-body connection that can help people deal with stress and anxiety, both physical and emotional.
Today yoga is practiced not only by adults but also by adolescents. Yoga helps children be more active, relaxes stress and helps them learn to take control of their emotions. The world yoga day 2022 aims at appreciating the importance of yoga and making it available to all throughout their lives. Yoga demands compassion and cares for all beings, humans as well as animals. Yoga can help maintain a healthy body as well as a healthy mind throughout one’s life span.
On the occasion of the International Yoga Day, we wish everyone health, happiness and peace. With the help of yoga, we are hoping to lead a happy and stress free life. Through yoga we are trying to strengthen our body and our mind, so that we can live a healthy and active life.
Yoga puts us on the road to self-awareness of our inner energy system which is awareness of one’s “True Self”. These ancient practices have brought about a better understanding of ourselves by releasing fear as well as all of the various ailments that result from it.